Karen Remsen

Senior Freelance Designer Joined over 7 years ago

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  • Posted to What's it like working for a remote design team? , Dec 16, 2016

    I have been working 95-100% remotely since May 2015 and I love it. I've spent most of that time freelancing but transitioned to a full-time job about 4 months ago.

    Previously I worked full-time in an office for 5+ years. Ironically, I find that it has actually improved communication. When I have meetings now with my team (or previously my client) I prepare more thoroughly and outline goals for our discussion and know what I feedback I need have by the end. I have to be a bit of a project/product manager as well in this sense, but that has been only a benefit to my work. Working in an office I often felt I was wasting time with meetings and discussions that were premature or one (or more) person hadn't had time to prepare for.

    I should say I've only experienced working remotely as a sole freelancer or on small teams. I could imagine some problems with bigger organizations.

    The only frustration I have is sometimes technology hampers meetings a bit (bad sound quality, bad video quality, constantly asking, "can you hear me?" :) ). Sometimes I feel a tiny bit out of the loop (my core team or 3-4 people is in the same place) but it just makes me more careful about checking in on what's happening.

    It is also just a better fit for my personality. I describe myself as a social introvert; I'm friendly and I love talking to people and collaborating with them, but I can only think 100% clearly when I have some time to myself. If I worked in an office that reserved the morning for solo, quiet work and the afternoons for meetings, that would have been much better for me :p

    It also allowed me scheduling flexibility I needed when I was having some health struggles in 2015. It's hard to give up that freedom even though I am much better now :)

    I have not had difficulty finding work, but be aware that you have to be active and apply/interview for gigs and jobs a lot as you are entering a global pool of candidates. I worked for Toptal as a freelancer, which helped relieved some strain of hustling for work. Despite some slightly annoying things about how they operate, I had an overall positive experience.

    13 points
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